Picture this: You just got out of the shower, squeaky clean, feeling fresh as hell. Then you stop and look in the mirror. Suddenly, it no longer feels like you just hit the reset button. Your brain immediately goes to a blemish on your cheek, a soft roll on your belly, a saggy breast. You just took care of your body’s physical needs, but you’re no longer taking care of it. Now it’s the enemy.
Ever been asked to share your favorite body part or feature? What did you say?
“My eyebrows” is my go-to, safe answer. Why? I’ve always had wide hips. I’ve never had a flat stomach. If my body and I were Facebook officially, our relationship status would be “It’s Complicated.” I’d call us frenemies.
I want to like her, I really do. Sometimes she just really grinds my gears. And all of those “why” questions start to creep in…
“Why aren’t you thin like her?”
“Why can’t you have perky boobs like her?”
“Why don’t you have beautiful, full, flowing hair like her?”
I look myself up and down. I stop at my eyebrows. Yes, they have a beautiful natural arch. But I am more than my eyebrows. So I keep looking. And I stop at my thighs. My thighs. If I could go back to that high school health class, I’d whisper in my 14-year-old ear:
“Tell them about your thighs.”
I didn’t realize it until someone sent me a DM on Instagram commenting on how strong they thought my thighs looked. I paused. As a fitness instructor, I naturally have thick thighs. They’re more toned than my abs ever will be. My thighs hold the power. They are symbolic of my work, of how I can hop on a bike nine times a week and help move people to live healthier lives, lives where they are motivated to grow to be better versions of themselves.
My thighs represent a journey, from hating my body completely to finding moments of acceptance, even of love.
Take a second to think about what’s between your thighs while we’re at it. The source of human life is there. Your thighs protect the future of the world. How freaking cool is that?
But anyway, back to this conversation about our relationship with our bodies. In my opinion, scrolling is the enabler of destructive self-talk. Social media is a highlight reel. It’s not always real. We always want to live like someone else, succeed like someone else, look like someone else. Remember: It’s reel versus real.
But here’s what I’ve learned from my thighs: We all share this struggle. For as many people that I say I want to look like or even just steal certain features of, there’s the same number of people who are saying the same about me. I think it’s time to change that narrative. Throw jealousy and longing out the window.
Instead, we need to step into our power.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: MY THIGHS HOLD THE POWER. So take a good, long look at yourself. Where in your body are you holding your power? Think about the journey that part of your body has been on; think about how it’s brought you to where you are right now, staring into the mirror.
Be proud of its path. Be thankful for its growth.
Oh, and make sure you moisturize. Especially between the thighs.
...and if moisturizing isn’t enough and you need a bit more of a push, here are some resources that will help you transform that negative self-talk into self-love.
- A Life Full of Glitter by Anna O’Brien
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Unf*ck Your Brain by Faith G. Harper
- Depression in a Digital Age by Fiona Thomas
- You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
IG ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW:
THINGS TO DO:
- Write 3 “I am…” statements every day.
- Write an affirmation on your mirror each week.
- Have a 30-second dance party! (Meredith and Christina were really onto something!)